Podcasts are the future of storytelling

Do you like movies? Sports? Have you ever wanted to deepen your knowledge about some of the most famous unsolved mysteries in the world? Or do you simply want to hear two people have a conversation about the news? Well, there is probably a podcast for you. Podcasting has become a prevalent form of media combining the broadcast style of radio with the creativity of television. In 2021, anyone can have a podcast and use it to build a brand for themselves.

With the rise in popularity of the iPod, after its release in 2001, and the increased affordability of home audio production software, the boom of the amateur radio was underway; all it needed was an official title. Eventually, “podcasting,” a blend of ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast,’ stuck and exploded in popularity. In 2005, ‘‘podcast’’ was named the New Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year, firmly establishing podcasts as the emerging media trend that was soon to be in everyone’s lives. 

Now, well into the 21st century, podcasting has grown because it is so accessible. It is easy for anyone, from an upstart high school journalist to a rockstar or even the former President of the United States, to pick up a microphone and record an hour-long piece about their feelings on the world. 

Since the initial boom in 2005, athletes, actors and journalists have been able to use the podcast medium to present themselves in ways that the normal celebrity platform does not allow for. One of the most popular podcasts in the world, The Joe Rogan Experience, is centered around celebrities and scientists having candid conversations with Comedian Joe Rogan about their experiences. Rogan gives his guests the ability to lead the conversation and he is willing to speak on almost anything, leading to dialogue from celebrities that fans don’t usually hear. 

Another extremely popular podcast genre is true crime in which journalists conduct a deep dive into some of the most fascinating solved and unsolved crimes in world history. Starting with Serial in 2014, these podcasts are produced in a way that makes them easy to understand and tell a compelling story to the audience. 

In creating these podcasts, many journalists have done work that has led to new discoveries, and some of them have even solved a case (Up and Vanished 2017). This genre is just one of the many examples of how the podcast medium has helped to advance journalism at large. 

Both listening to, and creating/producing podcasts have given me an interesting perspective on the news and how to best educate others through my opinions. I have been able to use the podcast platform to create content that I would never have been able to explore before. I have many different interests and luckily many friends who share those same interests. Our combined interest and knowledge of certain topics, ranging from the 1980s to the NFL, has allowed me to work with them to produce interesting and fun content that allows us to teach others and also educate ourselves in a personal, yet public way. 

Although my writing skills have grown, it has always been easier for me to express myself through my words and podcasting gives me an easy outlet to connect with an audience at such a young age. 

The media landscape is always evolving and pre-recorded broadcast radio was a natural step at the beginning of the 21st century. Now that we are into the 2020s, podcasts are growing in popularity and the sky’s the limit for how the medium can be used in the future to further develop reporting and storytelling.